Close-Up Replay Showed Lionel Messi Was Hardly At Fault In His Altercation With Gary Medel

Lionel Messi's disappointing Copa América campaign turned into a nightmare when he was shown a red card for an incident involving Chile captain Gary Medel.

The Barcelona superstar captained his Argentina side in the first half of their third-placed playoff match against Chile.

But the Argentine ace, 32, was scrambling to win the ball back in the 37th minute as Medel shielded him away from it.

Messi stamped out at the ball and even nudged the Chilean defensive midfielder, 31, in the back.

But that was only the tip of the iceberg as the Argentina captain walked into the path of Medel, which led to the Beşiktaş player hitting him with his body at least four times.

Both men received red cards for the altercation, but one fan has posted footage online that shows a slow-motion close-up view of the incident.

And there could be a strong case that the red shown to Messi was harsh and a yellow card would have been more than sufficient.

Following on from the match, Argentina boss Lionel Scaloni was critical of the referee's decision against his captain.

"I have seen the video and so far, I do not understand what he did to have been expelled," he told reporters (via Diario AS).

"Obviously, he made a very quick decision, very strange, and worst of all is that the VAR does not correct, because for this there is the VAR.

"The VAR is here to help, and today it did not help."

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

Goals from Sergio Agüero and Paulo Dybala in the first half secured a 2-1 victory over Chile at the Arena Corinthians.

Arturo Vidal converted from the spot-kick in the second half, but Reinaldo Rueda's men were unable to mount a successful comeback.

Brazil, who knocked Argentina out in the semi-finals, will have a chance to capture the Copa América title on home soil when they face Peru in the final today.

Was it a harsh red card?

Let us know in the comments.

Featured Image Credit: JohnSmith1988

Adnan Riaz

Adnan Riaz is a journalist for SPORTbible. He studied for a B.A. in History at the University of York and followed it up with an M.A. in Multimedia Journalism at MMU. Before he started writing about sports, he spent over four years in the gaming press. He has worked for several publications, including Hardcore Gamer, LADbible and the Manchester Evening News. Follow him on Twitter to find out what he is working on next. Got a story tip for Adnan? Email him: [email protected]

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